Summer Produce Top Picks

Here are some of our top picks for seasonal summer produce and why they are beneficial to your health.

So read up and make a trip to your local farmers market or favorite store.  When possible, you’ll want to choose organic.

Apples – not only are apples delicious and inexpensive, but they also fill you up due to their high water and fiber content.  Apples contain pectin, a fiber source, which is also known as a prebiotic. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria in your body.

Asparagus – a natural diuretic, helps the body to flush excess water and salt, combating bloat. Full of tryptophan, mood levels can be elevated by consuming asparagus. Asparagus is also high in vitamins B, E, and K. Go for purple asparagus and get even more antioxidants.

Beans (Shell) – beans are quite high in fiber, making them a top satiating food. Additionally, beans are a great source of protein, B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.

Lettuce – a good source of chlorophyll and vitamins A, B, C, and K.  Lettuce is high in folate and minerals manganese and chromium.  The darker the lettuce, the greater the nutrient content.

Morel Mushrooms – high in iron, vitamin D, and phosphorus, which helps deliver oxygen and plays a role in forming strong bones and DNA. Eating just a cup of these delicious and rare mushrooms provides a generous serving of antioxidants, which help ward off certain diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Nettles – Nettle leaf is most used to treat pain, osteoarthritis, allergies, and hay fever. You can add the leaves and stems to a salad, steam them, toss them into soup, or make tea out of them.  Some people mix extracted nettle root with alcohol to make a tincture, take it in an encapsulated form, or turn the dried version of it into a tea.

Onions – an excellent source of B vitamins, C and K, chromium, and dietary fiber. Onions are a good source of folate.  Onions have blood sugar lowering qualities. Onions contain quercetin, which is a natural antihistamine.

Peas – are high in protein and fiber and are a good source of vitamins B, C, and K.  By eating peas, you will consume a variety of minerals, including phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

Potatoes – are a great source of many nutrients, including potassium, vitamins B6 and C, and niacin.  Potatoes contain a good amount of fiber and a moderate amount of protein.  Don’t throw away the skins. This is where you will find most of these nutritional features. They are full of healing properties that have even been known to treat skin wounds.

Spinach – is extremely nutrient-dense.  Spinach is full of vitamins B, C, and K.  It contains twice as much iron as other greens.  Spinach contains chlorophyll which aids in blood flow. Also, spinach is one of the best sources of lutein, which promotes eye health.

Thyme – an antioxidant-rich herb.  Thyme is a good source of manganese and a variety of flavonoids.  It is known to have significant antibacterial and fungicidal properties.


Good nutrition is an essential component of optimal health. As a Nationally Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach,

I can help you make changes in your lifestyle to align with your health goals without giving up everything that you love!




Diversity Isn’t Just for People!

Plant diversity holds the keys to abundant health! Do you find yourself eating the same handful of fruits and veggies every day? I love me some carrots, apples, cucumbers, and peppers, but recently I’ve been alerted to the importance of getting a much wider range of colors and types into my diet. It turns out that whoever eats the most diverse plant diet wins in health! Mainly because our gut microbiome craves the variety of plants and fiber to feed the good gut bacteria. Even our brain health and most of our immune system is a result of the environment in our bowels and intestines, crazy right!

Does it give you a bloated feeling talking about plant diversity because of the thought of extra fiber creating gas? Following are some practical steps that you can start taking today to gently add diversity and fiber to your diet. Go slow, you can heal your gut, and work up to eating a fiber rich diet over time.

3 Ways to get more plant diversity in your diet

First Make your Salad in Jars – they will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days if you don’t mix in the dressing, keep it on the bottom until you are ready to enjoy. Also, they are very pretty and seductive when you open the fridge!


  • Layer in order starting with 2 Tbsp dressing at the bottom of the jar, then add:
  • Hard veggies like carrots and tomatoes
  • Fruit like berries or apples
  • Greens
  • Top with seeds or nuts
  • My favorite dressing is Balsamic Curry Dressing that works great as a dip or marinade as well. To make just whisk together ¼ C EVOO, ¼ C Balsamic vinegar, ½ Tbsp curry powder, ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp brown sugar.

Second Enjoy Soups – this is a great way to pulverize and disguise tons of veggies!

A family favorite of ours is this Ginger Carrot Soup


  • Slice 7-8 large carrots thinly
  • Dice a medium onion
  • Chop half of a head of cauliflower
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground ginger
  • Sauté in 3 Tbsp butter or EVOO with 1 tsp salt, do not brown, just soften for a few minutes.
  • Add 4 C broth or miso
  • Add juice of 1 lemon
  • Simmer for 20 minutes
  • Puree and serve with fresh herbs – Enjoy!

Third is to include Plant Based supplements

To increase the amount and variety of plants in my diet I rely on plant-based supplements. This helps me have the assurance that I am checking all the nutritional boxes every day. Look for products that have been tested in people, and that meet the highest purity safety standards. The one that I use is Juice Plus and you can check it out here:

I hope that this is some practical information for you to digest. You are are not alone in this journey to optimize your health. If you would like more help customizing a plan that will work for you, please reach out to schedule a consultation!


The Surprising Connection Between Stress and Fad Diets

Now that we’re firmly in the fourth quarter of this year there might be a panic settling in that the carefree days of summer are gone and it’s time to get back to our routine and better eating habits. Naturally, we can succumb to all of the advertising for diets touting that you need to jump on the bandwagon of this or that diet in order to lose those added pounds that you may have put on us for the year. Unfortunately, much of the marketing that we get bombarded with is also someone else’s panic about making budgets and deadlines too! After all, diets are a huge industry.

Here are some interesting facts about stress and the way it impacts our eating habits. If you’d like to learn more about the way stress might be affecting your health you might like to check out the stress assessment.

Suzy is a Nationally Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach, researcher, and a mom who specializes in empowering busy professionals and families who lead fast paced lives to have optimal health. She has worked in the field of nutrition for the past 18 years and bases her coaching on the 4 pillars of health L.E.A.N. Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition. Suzy has expertise in pinpointing the causes of work-related stress and how it impacts health markers. She incorporates nutritional healing into her plans with clients to heal from the inside out.

Poop and Your Gut Microbiome

Yeah, that’s right, poop ? !

It can be a sensitive topic and a little embarrassing, but essential none the less! While this is kind of an uncomfortable life story, I’m telling it in the hopes that it will help someone else.

I dealt with constipation big-time as a child all the way until adulthood into my 30s. When I was a kid my mom would have to give me an enema every four days because I couldn’t poop! It was just part of our life; someone would say where Suzy and then someone else would say oh has it been four days? They would know that I was getting the treatment.

As I got older it turned into taking laxatives which really messed up my system! For as long as I can remember I was always trying to find remedies to help with my chronic constipation. It turns out when you have a chronic constipation like that your bowels just are not working right and you don’t get the urges, the system gets very stuck. I pretty much had figured that it was just the way my body was and lived with the discomfort of constipation.

Fast forward to the time after my second daughter was born and I was training for a marathon with friends. I mentioned this issue that had just become the way of life for me. Also, my three-year-old was having a similar issue and would cry every time she had to poop. We started a nutritional plan of adding lots of produce to our diets that had surprisingly fast results. In a matter of days, we were ALL amazingly regular! It was life-changing, and it started a cascade of many health benefits that I am so thankful for today.

Now since the study of the Gut Microbiome has exploded in recent years, research is showing that a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other plants are key to creating an ecoculture inside our gut that leads to biodiversity that is important for our health. Not only does it restore the good bacteria for healthy bowel movements, but also decreases systemic inflammation. It’s interesting to note that much of our neurotransmitters that are produced in our body come from our microbiome in our gut. When you eat fiber from plants you are feeding the good gut bacteria in your microbiome.

It’s so common that people either have overactive bowels or lazy ones like mine, and I just wanted to get this out, so you know you’re not alone in the struggle.

It’s always a good time to support a healthy microbiome and train your bowels to be regular.

Don’t feel embarrassed if your bowels are cranky, reach out and I’d be happy to share more about what worked for me!

What’s Your Relationship to Support?

Recently, I found myself feeling incredibly overwhelmed, you know that feeling when you don’t want to get up? It was weird, because I truly am so excited of all the great things in my life, I feel grateful, encouraged, and surrounded by lots of support. I was also processing grief over losing my dad and trying to manage all the plates spinning that I had put on hold for a season to take care of him. It wasn’t even pressure that I was feeling, it was more a feeling of being a bit lost and surrounded by the life that I’ve built, yet not knowing what the next step should be.

Have you ever felt this way? Confused that you are feeling lost in all the things?

It really made me feel like I was going through the motions and not actually experiencing my life.

It wasn’t long before I started to pile on self judgements…
I should be able to handle this…
What do I tell my clients when they are overwhelmed…?
I can find the answer, I can look up new tools…
Read the book…

But wait, is it just my interpretation that I have the facts and the tools that I need to feel better, be better, and do better?

Well, after getting into some reflection and prayer, and just sitting in the sun on my back porch and allowing myself to settle, I realized that while I have supportive people and tools all around me, I was only relying on myself to come up with the plan. Exactly what I hope to be for others, I needed too.

After beginning to have an open heart and mind to share my need for support the doors all began opening.

In a window of a couple of days I met an accountability partner that helped me to get back on track with my eating habits. Those are always the first to go for me when stress shows up.

Then, I joined a running group that supported my exercise and joy of being in nature learning new techniques. I also know that running keeps me more mindful of my eating since I know how I’ll feel the next day on the trail!

I reached out to my family to share the new roles that we need to take on for mom now and let them share in that privilege. We were never meant to take on the world alone, and the vulnerability of accepting help can be a forever bond with another who is able to support.

Through this challenge, I have uncovered that my relationship to support is often to try and muscle my own way through a hard time, instead of reaching out and up for support. Sometimes it’s easy to mistake information and opinions on social media and the internet for actual support that comes from another human being!

So, here’s my invitation to you… what is an area of overwhelm for you that you might get curious about support?




No Bake Apple Crumble


Hi, welcome to ShineHealth.

I’m so excited to talk to you about a new topic today call “culinary medicine”.

It’s a really important topic because I think so much of the time we feel like if food is going to be delicious, it can’t be healthy and if it’s nourishing, is it gonna be satisfying.

So, with knowing the fact that eighty percent of all disease is preventable or at least helped through better lifestyle, don’t you think it’s an important place to start with food as medicine.

Today, we’re gonna be talking about doing the dessert flip! And I’m gonna show you how to make a really good dessert called “No Bake Apple Crumble”.

We’re actually goona make it right now together.

Ok, we’re gonna get started with our dessert flip no bake apple crumble.

So I’ve got four apples – these are honey crisp apples and I boiled about a quarter cup of water here so I’m just putting uhm… these apples that I’ve cut into small to medium sized little  uhm…pieces… uhm… that’s from  three of the apples and now I’m gonna cut the fourth one with y9u.

So when I get this going uhm… I’ve got my water boiling just a little bit, just a light boil, and we’re gonna put our apples in there and just cook them down ever so slightly.

We’ve also got in our other pan, I have got this heating up and it looks like it’s going a little bit hot so let me go ahead and turn it down.

And what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna add 2 tablespoons of a plant-based butter which I like to use Earth Balance organic butter it’s made from coconut oil. So I’m gonna put that 2 tablespoons into both my pan that I’m heating up there and my dish that’s got the apples in there.

And then you go ahead and stir and we’re gonna go ahead and let those kind of uhm… shrink down just a little bit. Then we’ll just gonna soften the apple chops and then in here we’ll gonna be making our crumble mixture.

So I’m just cutting out my apple… in really small size pieces. You make these into slices, you can really make them however you like. I definitely recommend leaving the peel on you apple when you cut it because there’s a lot of really important fiber in there and phytonutrients. And you can use whatever apple you like. I do recommend getting organic apples if you can because they’re gonna be higher in nutrients and I think they taste better too!

Shinhealth 3 Day Meal Plan – Preview

Here is your guide to three days of clean simple healthy meals that you can sprinkle into your life in a flash!

You will have leftovers to use for the remainder of the week or to freeze.

Day 1

Breakfast – brain boosting smoothie

Lunch – power salad in a jar with spinach, chicken, goat cheese, quinoa, and pomegranate

Snack – almonds, celery, and apple

Dinner – baked salmon and crispy cauliflower bites

Desert – 1 dark chocolate pom nutty bite

Day 2

Breakfast – egg and spinach PFF

Lunch – PF Chang style lettuce wraps

Snack – almonds, celery, and apple

Dinner – curry lime chicken with organic greens

Desert – 1 dark chocolate pom nutty bite

Day 3

Breakfast – power smoothie bowl

Lunch – power salad in a jar with chicken, organic greens, and quinoa

Snack – plain Greek unsweetened yogurt and 1/2 C blueberries

Dinner – spaghetti squash chow mien

Desert – 1 dark chocolate pom nutty bite

The Shopping List


2 Bananas
1 Lemon
2 Lime
Red pepper
Bag Cole slaw
Bag organic Apples
Spaghetti squash
Green onion


Coconut sugar
Nutritional Yeast
Coconut aminos
Baking powder
Chile powder
Curry powder
Pink sea salt
Water chestnuts
Hoisin sauce
Apple cider vinegar
Almond milk
Chickpea flour
Sunflower seeds
Dijon mustard
Dark chocolate
Mini cupcake liners


Parmesan cheese
Goat cheese
Rotisserie chicken
1lb Chicken
1lb Wild Pacific Salmon

Siracha sauce
Complete Plant based protein powder

Subscribe now to get access to full recipe list.

March Seed Planting Tutorial

It’s spring, the weather is changing, colors are starting to pop, and you might be asking yourself how to get a garden started. While you won’t want to plant outdoors until after the last frost has passed, this is the time to start your seedlings for a full summer garden. Want to garden indoors 24/365? Check out my vertical growing site here.

Meanwhile, you can watch the video below…

Healing Power of Smoothies

Ever wake up with a jolt of cortisol and race right into your to do list for the day without thinking of fueling your body and brain? Maybe you grab an energy bar or just head out the door with a dose of caffeine only to find yourself short on patience and stressed by mid-morning. Did you know that making a smoothie can be a perfect way to boost servings of plants and get you off to a healthy start to your day as fast as eating a muffin with a much better nutritional profile!

Drinking our food like in a smoothie is very healing on our gut and delivers a fast nutritional punch to our body. It’s partially digested which gives our body a rest, sending energy to other areas. Sometimes, like when we are sick, our body can really benefit from the ease of sipping on a plant-based power drink. Smoothies can be customized to your liking and specific needs as well. It’s an economical way to use up ripe produce like bananas and other fruits. Throwing in a handful of spinach or other greens packs in phytonutrients and enzymes found in those foods.

What’s the difference between a juice and a smoothie? Blending our plants and including the fiber and protein has the benefit of including all the vital parts of the plant. You can even include seeds and a bit of the peel of most fruits. In fact, the skin of a pineapple is where the most concentration of bromelain is found, include a little sliver in your next smoothie. Lemon peel is a great source of Vitamin B and gives your smoothie a fresh, revitalizing flavor. When we juice plants, we are taking out the bulk of the fiber which is an important part of the plant that we tend to be deficient in because of our highly processed diets. I’m a fan of the Vitamix, however any blender that will pulverize greens and berries will do.

Remember to add a healthy fat to your smoothie to make it more satisfying and support your brain. Some good examples are coconut oil, avocado, nut butters, and seeds. If you find your sweet tooth appearing on an evening or afternoon, try making a themed smoothie like chocolate, banana, peanut butter, instead of reaching for packaged snacks that won’t serve your body nearly as well. Adding in the extra fiber from plants can help to remodel your gut quite quickly and you might find those cravings staying at bay.

I like to keep a plant-based protein powder on hand to boost the nutrition of my smoothies, and for an easy shortcut when I’m busy. My favorite is Juice Plus Complete chocolate which I blend with frozen cherries, nut butter, and spinach regularly.

Many of the most common health challenges that we experience like heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes could be prevented or bettered by smoothing out the blood sugar spikes that come from a high sugar, low fiber, processed diet. Leveraging the power of produce and streamlining our morning routine with a daily smoothie assists our body in protecting itself and staying in balance.

How would your day be enhanced with the simple habit of a daily smoothie?


This is one of my favorites, and the bright green color is stunning – good enough to drink!

Elimination or Addition: The science of positivity+++

Do you dread the feeling of needing to go on a diet in order to be congruent with your health goals? Maybe your doctor has told you that you need to cut back on sweets, or fat. So many times I’ve had the pattern of indulging on all the “bad” foods to fasting and starving myself, which feels like being on a hamster wheel.

Taking positive action by contributing to the healthy vision that you have for yourself is a way to increase positivity and optimism. I like to focus on what we can add instead of what we need to take away. Being mindful of adding healthy habits means that the things that are not serving you will get crowded out naturally.

John Hopkin’s expert Lisa Yanek M.P.H. found that…

“positive people from the general population were 13 percent less likely than their negative counterparts to have a heart attack or other coronary event”.

This begs the question, what can you add?

More sleep?
More water?
More veggies?
Weighing yourself regularly?

We’re all busy so it can seem daunting to add something new. But consider what you will also be adding in the way of more time, mindfulness, less weight, and better health markers!

Here’s some easy ways to start…

  • ADD Lemon to your water and drink 1 L before 10 AM
  • ADD blueberries and 2 cups of greens to your lunch
  • ADD a gratitude journal with the five things you’re grateful for before bed
  • ADD reading instead of binging on Netflix so that you get to sleep earlier
  • ADD your favorite herbal tea instead of a cup of coffee
  • ADD a new scale that analyzes your body composition to your bathroom landscape so that you are aware of your metrics
  • ADD raw almonds and an apple to your afternoon snack
  • ADD a 20 minute walk at a brisk pace
  • ADD 15 squats before you go to bed, or push-ups, or both!

These micro adjustments to your schedule overtime will become big results.
Thinking about taking things away like a traditional diet leads us down a path of negativity from loss and the changes that are made probably won’t stick. It’s better to think of what we can add in our life and making choices that support our lifestyle.

Negativity is very heavy and adding things is an act of positivity on ourselves. What good thing can you say yes to and have in your mind today? By giving something new a try you open yourself up to a fresh positive change. And if it doesn’t feel right, just move onto something that does.

It’s not about losing, it’s about gaining. You are perfect just the way you are, maybe you need to hear that right now. What would you like to add today?